Ruto on West African tour to cam­paign for Mo­hamed’s bid for AU com­mis­sion chair

He will visit five states to lobby for Kenya. In the July polls, no can­di­date got two-thirds of the vote and the elec­tion was post­poned to Jan­uary

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics Presidency - IMENDE BEN­JAMIN @Akhasakhulu

19 COMESA COUN­TRIES HAVE AL­READY EN­DORSED AMINA MO­HAMED

Kenya has launched a ma­jor diplo­matic cam­paign aimed at get­ting votes for For­eign Af­fairs CS Amina Mo­hamed to be­come the next African Union Com­mis­sion chair­per­son.

The post is cur­rently held by South Africa’s Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who was elected in July 2012 for a four-year term.

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto is on a whirl­wind tour of seven coun­tries in West Africa. Mo­hamed has ac­com­pa­nied the DP on the tour.

“He is trav­el­ling to West Africa to so­lid­ify votes for For­eign Af­fairs CS Mo­hamed af­ter 19 Comesa coun­tries en­dorsed her,” David Mu­gonyi, the Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sec­re­tary at the DP’s Of­fice, said.

“We have no doubt that if elected to the post, Mo­hamed will serve both her coun­try and the con­ti­nent as she has al­ways done, with the high­est level of ex­cel­lence, ethics, in­tegrity, pas­sion and com­mit­ment.”

Ruto is in Chad, and will there­after travel to Mali, Eritrea, DRC, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Egypt.

He will meet Pres­i­dents Idriss Déby of Chad, Ibrahim Keïta (Mali), Isa­ias Afw­erki (Eritrea), Joseph Ka­bila (DRC), Ivory Coast’s Alas­sane Ou­at­tara, Ghana’s John Ma­hama and Egypt’s Ab­del Fat­tah al-Sisi.

Pres­i­dent Déby is the cur­rent chair­man of the African Union. His coun­try, Chad, has nom­i­nated its long serv­ing Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs Moussa Faki Ma­hamat for AUC chair­per­son.

The elec­tions are sched­uled for Jan­uary 2017. Kenya will seek to strike a com­pro­mise with Chad.

Kenya and Chad en­joy warm and cor­dial re­la­tions though trade be­tween the two coun­tries is min­i­mal with Kenya’s ex­ports to Chad val­ued at Sh81,812,459, against im­ports from Chad at Sh115,399 in 2015.

An­a­lysts be­lieve the elec­tion will pick up mo­men­tum in Jan­uary next year.

Trav­el­ling as a high-level spe­cial en­voy, Ruto is de­liv­er­ing a mes­sage di­rectly to heads of state to vote for Mo­hamed in Jan­uary.

/DPPS

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto and For­eign Af­fairs CS Amina Mo­hamed (R) in Chad yes­ter­day

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